AR Murugadoss is the first director who gave started the 100 crore club with his debut Hindi movie Ghajini way back in 2008. He continued his successful stint again with Holiday: A Soldier Is Never Off Duty starring Akshay Kumar and Sonakshi Sinha. In this week’s release, ARM presents a gritty woman-centric movie Akira starring Sonakshi Sinha. Frankly speaking this time again, ARM does not disappoint. Yes, I do agree it is not in the mould of Ghajini or Holiday, however, he brings to life a real life situation that could be faced by anybody.

Based on Tamil movie Mouna Guru, Akira starts with the voice introduction of Akira Sharma (Sonakshi Sinha) by Sub-Inspector of Police Rabia (Konkona Sen Sharma). The movie goes back in time when Akira is a kid living with her parents in Jodhpur. One day she witnesses an acid attack while returning from school and she testifies against the culprit. This tragic incident encourages her deaf and mute father (Atul Kulkarni) to enroll her for the martial arts classes. The guys against whom she had testified catches her one day to teach her a lesson and in the ambush accidently she throws acid on one of them. As a result, she is sent to a remand home for three years.

Once she is out of the remand home, her brother urges her and their mother to go with him to Mumbai. Reluctantly she leaves for Mumbai and gets enrolled in a college.

There is a parallel story happening in the interim wherein corrupt ACP Rane (Anurag Kashyap) and his three trusted aides come across a car accident victim. When they try to help the victim, one of his aides find a bag filled with notes. Finding it as an opportunity to get rich instantly, they kill the victim. Unknowingly, Akira gets involved in the case and finds herself locked in a mental asylum. What happens to her is the rest of the story.

This is Sonakshi’s best performance till date. She lives the character of Akira and convincingly plays the part of an action lady. The way she fights, her body language, dialogue delivery, facial expressions, everything shows how diligently she worked hard to play this role. Anurag Kashyap as ACP Rane is too good. He delivers his part in the villainous role and is a sheer delight to watch. Konkona Sen Sharma in a brief role of Inspector Rabia is quite delightful. However, the part where she plays a heavily pregnant lady does not do any justice to the entire plot. It looks like a forced fit. In the supporting cast, Raai Laxmi, Amit Sadh, Smita Jayakar, Atul Kulkarni and the guy you played the transvestite have done justice to their parts.

Director AR Murugadoss does a fine job. I will not call it as his finest product, however, he does deliver a decent product. Story by Santha Kumar and screenplay by Santha Kumar & AR Murugadoss is good, although they have taken a lot of cinematic liberties, but no complaints there. However, the climax could have been better. Being an action movie, the fight sequences are good but very few. Dialogues are average and music by Vishal-Shekar is plain okay. If you look at it, there is no scope for music in this action packed movie. Background score by John Stewart Eduri is mind-blowing. Editing could have been crisper.

On the whole, I would say Akira delivers and with word of mouth publicity this small budget woman-centric movie should appeal to it’s target audience.

My Verdict: ***

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